Thursday, July 26, 2012
To Brine or Not to Brine....That is the Question.
Alton Brown's Turkey Brine. Myron Mixon's BBQ Cookbook that I reviewed talked about his rib brine/marinade which included ginger ale, orange juice, and I believe Soy Sauce among other things. There you get the salt, the liquid and the sweet that makes a good brine. The good thing about a brine is the longer you do it, the better it is. Now that's not to say I would leave chicken thighs in the brine for 12 hours, but 2-4 hours is a good amount. You aren't creating jerky. You are just trying to infuse a little flavor that can also be done with an injection (which is basically a brine that is shot in instead of allowed to work naturally). Be careful of your injections when it comes to a Boston Butt. Too much salt will give it a "hammy" taste which isn't what you want. What meats tend to accept brines well you ask? Any white meat, dark poultry meat, seafood, pork, ribs, whatever you like. While I have never brined a brisket, you can and you will wind up with pastrami. As for recipes for a brine, you can surf the web and find dozens of them. If you look at many recipe books for chicken, they call for brining in Italian Salad Dressing or Raspberry Vinaigrette. The effect is the same: breaking down those cell walls so the meat can accept more liquid and flavor. More liquid equals moister BBQ. So next time you have some chicken or a nice pork loin that is going on the smoker, give a brine a try. I don't think you will be disappointed. And we all know that good BBQ is always Good Eats.....that's shout out to Alton Brown or "AB" in the know. Yall enjoy and Riley says hello.